School Bus Fingerprinting

This new technology of fingerprinting children works. They're tracking the students by a copy of their fingerprint and the buses by satellite. Lee County is using the system, and Leon County is looking to follow suit.

Keeping track of nearly 13,000 kids while transporting them can be a tricky trade.

"Sometimes it's hard because of so many children and we're getting bigger buses, so you don't know who is riding until you see their face," says Millie Mathis, Leon County bus compound supervisor.

Pretty soon all drivers will need to see is a thumbprint. Leon County is looking to jump on board with Lee County by tracking students by fingerprint.

Using Big Brother, buses to beef up student security, tying in a Global Positioning System, or GPS, so administrators will know where the bus is at all times.

Millie Mathis, a veteran bus driver, says the fingerprint tracking will curb stress.

"Because when a child is missing we go crazy and have to stop everything to look for this child," says Millie.

Which can be a tough task with thousands of heads to count and millions of miles to cover.

Leon County has already met with at least four vendors to install the system. Besides fingerprinting the district is also looking at using swipe cards or personal identification numbers for students to key in once they step foot on and off the bus.

The county is looking at a pilot program with about 35 buses and it would cost half a million dollars. The request for capitol outlay funds went before the committee Thursday.